San Diego

Residents Pay the Price for Trash Bins Damaged by City Trucks

The City Council has decided that it's not responsible for replacing residents' trash bins

Residents who believe the city should replace trash bins damaged by one of the city's trash collection trucks are in for a disappointment.

The San Diego City Council decided Tuesday that residents will still have to pay to replace damaged trash bins, despite a county Grand Jury recommendation that the city replace the trash bins free of charge.

According to the March 22 Grand Jury report, complaints about damaged trash bins have increased 25 percent over the last two years. Replacement bins cost $70, not including a $25 delivery fee.

"The recommendation will not be implemented because it’s not warranted. The city has numerous priorities, such as public safety and limited financial capacity at this time,” stated a staff report by the Independent Budget Analyst.

The council voted unanimously to approve the staff recommendation. There was no public comment on the issue at the council hearing.

Councilmember David Alvarez suggested that the city look for ways to help residents pay for damaged bins.

“We are going to explore all options for trash cans that have reached the end of their life span to be replaced, including a low-income program,” said Alvarez.

It was one of three recommendations directed to the city council.

The others had to do with a grand jury allegation that the city gave preferential treatment to some residents to replace their cans for free using Community Project Programs and Services (CPPS) money.

The staff report partially disagreed saying the practice was only in use because there was not a formal citywide program to replace the damaged cans. The practice was stopped in 2016, according to the staff report.

The Grand Jury also forwarded four recommendations to Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office. Those recommendations focus on the aging fleet of collection trucks causing the problem, as well as adding mechanics and the selection of more durable trash collection bins.

The mayor was granted an extension to respond to the report. His response date is set for July 31.

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